By Damian Dolan.
Republic of Ireland face four make or break days in their bid to reach Rio next year, with manager Giovanni Trapattoni set to call upon an old warhorse for their World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria.
With Germany all but assured of top spot and automatic qualification, the race for second and a likely play-off spot couldn’t be tighter, with only goal difference separating Sweden, Austria and Ireland.
Rejuvenated and reinvigorated at QPR under Harry Redknapp, after a year out with a groin injury, Richard Dunne has proven his fitness this season and is an assured option at the heart of the defence. John O’Shea’s error at the weekend that cost Sunderland the points at Crystal Palace did little to instil confidence ahead of these two crucial qualifiers, and Dunne can provide the calming influence that will be needed.
For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World